The tight-knit community of La Loche will try to move on from tragedy when a new school year starts Tuesday.
The community was shaken on Jan. 22 when a gunman killed two brothers at a home in La Loche before entering the local school and opening fire.
Two teachers were killed and seven other people were injured.
Nathan Peardon is one of the teachers filling a vacancy left by the shooting. The recent university graduate moved from Cornwall, P.E.I. for the position.
“I feel safe in this community,” Peardon said. “People are really friendly and are super easygoing.”
Forty-eight teachers are returning to La Loche Community School. The campus is made up of two separate schools—the recently renamed Dene High School Tuesday for Grades 7-12, and Ducharme Elementary School.
Peardon said he senses the community is still in shock, but added the tragedy has brought people closer together.
“With the new year, everybody wants to move forward,” he said. “We want the past to be in the past and move on.”
Peardon said they’ve already been given a two-day training course on threat assessment and trauma response by Kevin Cameron to prepare them for the year.
Cameron is executive director of the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response in Lethbridge, Alta.
“He’s a really intelligent man,” Peardon said. “I learned a lot from him.”
La Loche Community School has an enrolment of 900 students and a support staff of 110.
The village of La Loche is located around 600 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.